Sorry, Roger Walters but it looks like the bricks are falling off the wall you are building preventing musicians from performing in Israel.
Once again, as the dust settles after a BDS-related concert cancellation, we find that the performance was not canceled as a result of the ideological convictions of the artists involved.
The UK Pink Floyd Experience, a Pink Floyd tribute band, recently announced that it will not perform its three scheduled shows in Israel. This announcement follows the oh-so-usual approach by BDS-poster boy Roger Waters, former front man for the original Pink Floyd band, who urged the tribute band not to play in Israel.
However, the hubris that led Waters to publish a Facebook post about this apparent BDS success seems to have exploded right in his face. Waters announces that he is “very happy that they have canceled their shows in Israel,” and he is “glad to welcome them into the BDS fold.”
It would be almost natural for a tribute band, dedicated solely to performing Pink Floyd songs – many of them written by Waters – would fall in line with their idol’s wishes.
Yet this happiness seems to be rather one-sided, according to the reply from David Power, front man and director of the UK tribute band. Rather than sacrifice the Israeli tour dates and embrace the mass media exposure emanating from this incident – as many artists do – Power chose to reply to Waters, setting the record straight and explaining the reason for the cancellation:
Roger, as I pointed out to you, my concern was for my colleagues and the abuse and threats they were receiving as a result of your initial post. This remains the main reason for issuing the cancellation post. We do not support either side in this. We were simply hoping to bring music to the people.
So it is neither ideological conviction nor support for the Palestinian cause that prompted this cancelation. It was fear, brought on by a frontal assault of abuse and threats, an assault ordered by Roger Waters. Power makes a direct connection between this assault and the cancelation, leaving no room for doubt or a hijacking of the agenda: The cancelation was due to the threat of violence – brought on by Waters.
Power seems displeased with Waters welcoming him into the BDS fold. When asked by an Israeli fan to clarify where he stands regarding the BDS movement, Power answered bluntly that he “is not in BDS, nor are any members of my show. Achieving peace should be the goal through communication.”
Adam Shay, is a senior program coordinator and researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, specializing in battling the cultural boycott of Israel. He is regularly called upon by producers and concert promoters to help battle BDS activists in their attempts to pressure artists into cancelling performances in Israel.